The Newtown Jets have secured the signature of Bobbie Goulding Jr, the former Wakefield Trinity halfback and son of Great Britain legend Bobbie Goulding.
The 21-year-old halfback is seen as the first-choice number seven for the NSW Cup squad. He will also, in theory, act as the third back-up to Mitchell Pearce and Daniel Mortimer at the position for the Roosters this year should injury strike.
After making his debut with the Wildcats towards the end of last season, Goulding was released due to a lack of available funds brought on by a spending spree on foreign players including Pita Godinet, Matt Ryan and Scot Anderson and the expected signing of Harry Seijka. He played with the club as recently as boxing day, kicking a penalty goal to secure a draw for the Wildcats against Leeds.
The English influence is starting to grow at the Roosters and Jets.
Signed in the past two weeks, 26 Rounds isn’t privy to the finer details of Goulding’s deal, but it came through assistant coach Steve McNamara — coach of the England squad — who is friends with Junior’s Senior having played with him back with Wakefield in 2000.
The Roosters also managed to snag 18-year-old phenom Curtis Naughton from Bradford. The fullback is slated to get a start with the Roosters’ Toyota Cup squad.
Goulding Sr is regarded as one of England’s greatest halfbacks, a confident and creative half who could kick the living daylights out of the pill. To wit, here’s some footage of his kicking game which led St Helens back from the dead in the 1996 Challenge Cup final:
He was considered a prodigy of the sport and at just 16 made his debut for Wigan in 1988. He won a Cup at 18 and became the youngest-ever Great Britain Lions tourist that very year. Standing just 5 foot six inches, he was a pocket rocket with all the skills needed to succeed.
Unfortunately he suffered long battles with alcoholism and drugs, as well as depression and anxiety. Roosters fans who were around in 1991 may also remember him, albeit not because of his game. He was sacked from the club after reportedly trashing a hotel room before he even played a game for the Eastern Suburbs club.
Rest assured that commentators better in the know than this writer believe his son is more grounded and just keen to hone his craft. And it’s clear the Roosters/Jets partnership is paying dividends for both sides.